Thu, 26 May 2022

Colombo [Sri Lanka], May 12 (ANI): Mahinda Rajapaksa, who recently tendered his resignation from the position of the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, has been barred from leaving the country by a local court, media reports said.

The travel ban has also been imposed on Mahinda Rajapaksa's son and former Minister Namal Rajapaksa, Johnston Fernando, Pavithra Wanniarachchi, C. B. Rathnayake, Sanath Nishantha, and Sanjeewa Edirimanne, among others, News Wire reported citing sources.

"I personally will extend my fullest cooperation to any investigation that is taking place with regard to the unfortunate events that took place on Monday. Neither my father nor myself have any intention to leave Sri Lanka and will continue to remain here," Namal Rajapaksa said in a tweet.

The ban was imposed by the Fort Magistrate consequent to an application made on behalf of the Attorney General of Sri Lanka supported by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) and aggrieved parties of the attack on anti-government protesters in Colombo on Monday, the report said.

The application filed in the court related to the alleged attacks launched by the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) loyalists on anti-government protesters near the Temple Trees and at the Galle Face Green in Colombo on Monday that led to widespread unrest across Sri Lanka.

More than a hundred protestors were injured at the Galle Face protest site during violent clashes resulting in a nationwide curfew in the country with the country's tri forces ordered to shoot at sight all those who plunder public property or cause personal harm on Tuesday.

Mahinda Rajapaksa and some of his family members were shifted to Trincomalee Naval Base, a day after he resigned following violent protests that led to a nationwide curfew.

Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since independence with food and fuel shortages, soaring prices and power cuts affecting a large number of the citizens, resulting in massive protests over the government's handling of the situation.

The recession is attributed to foreign exchange shortages caused by a fall in tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as reckless economic policies, like the government's move last year to ban chemical fertilizers in a bid to make Sri Lanka's agriculture "100 per cent organic".

Amid the political and economic crisis, the leader of the Opposition Sajith Premadasa who had earlier demanded the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa before assuming Prime Ministership, has written an open letter to the President that he is ready to assume the office of Prime Minister of Sri Lanka if Gotabaya Rajapaksa resigns within a stipulated time after Premadasa assuming office. (ANI)

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